Carrot & Squash Loaf

With Christmas approaching so soon I received a frantic call from my aunt over the weekend who explained her nephew would be joining us for Christmas. Her worry was viewing her nephews veganism as a problem , to a Ghanaian woman, when you cannot eat the food she prepares is a big problem. We could over hear her children telling her to stop worrying  and that he could feast on the roast potatoes and vegetables. However since my aunt believed I was a part time vegan and full time concoctionist she needed me to make something so he wouldn’t feel left out.

My first recipe to test was my take on a nut roast meets vegetable loaf, however rather throw everything into it, I decided to only use carrots and squashes with fresh breadcrumbs from a fresh stone-baked roll, cooked red quinoa and cooked barley. I wanted the sweetness of the carrots, pumpkin and butternut squash to be a complementary union with the other vegetable delights that will be served on the table. Secondly the color of the pumpkin and would prevent it from looking like a typical unexciting brown or beige loaf.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes           Cooking time:50 minutes                  Serves: 8-10 slices

Ingredients

300g butternut squash cubed

300g pumpkin or squash cubed

4 medium carrots cubed

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the pan

1 red onion finely chopped

1 white onion finely chopped

100 g cooked barley

100 g cooked red quinoa

1 Small bread roll

1 tbsp ground walnuts crushed (optional)

Fresh Herbs & Seasoning

1 sprig of rosemary

4 sage leaves chopped

2 cloves of smoked garlic crushed

5 sprigs of thyme finely chopped

10 sprigs of chive finely chopped

1 tsp dried onion powder

1/2 tsp of smoked paprika

salt

pepper

Method

  1. Rinse the carrots, butternut squash and pumpkin, place in a pan with water. Season with salt, add the sprig of rosemary and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. line 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with greaseproof paper.
  3. Meanwhile hand tear the bread roll placing the contents in a food processor and wiz until they resemble fine fluffy breadcrumbs. Empty the contents into a large bowl with the cooked barley and cooked quinoa.
  4. Turn off the heat from the pan containing the carrots, butternut squash and pumpkin, drain the water and set aside. Remove the sprig of rosemary.
  5. Heat the 2 tablespoons oil in and non-stick pan. Sauté the onions with a generous amount of salt and pepper. When the onion has started to turn translucent, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute before adding the herbs and stir well.
  6. Add the carrots, butternut squash and pumpkin to the onions and stir well. Cook for 5-6 minutes. Taste to ensure there is enough seasoning. It should be slightly salty.
  7. Remove the sautéed vegetables from the heat and add to the bowl containing the breadcrumb mixture and mix well.
  8. Press into the prepared loaf tin, cover with foil, and bake for 35 minutes. Take the foil off and bake for another 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a cool rack for 15 minutes
  9. Take it out of the tin and sprinkle with the ground walnuts.
  10. Cut into slices, serve and enjoy (it goes especially well with sautéed green beans topped Gravy).
  11. Enjoy

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